GLOUCESTERSHIRE‘S FARMERS have been coming to terms with the inevitable closure of Cirencester Cattle Market.

All hope of keeping the 150-year-old market faded after Cotswold District Council threw out an 11th-hour bid to have the mart temporarily relocated.

The council‘s planning committee rejected the plan for a temporary move to nearby, Tarlton, by eight votes to six.

The council backed residents who feared the rural roads around the village could not cope with the traffic.

The existing market now has to quit the current site at Tetbury Road in Cirencester by Tuesday (Sept 7) to make way for a new district council-run leisure centre.

A stop-gap home was sought while a new market is built at Fosse Farm, off the A419 at Driffield.

Work is due to start there shortly and the owners say it is scheduled to become operational in early 2005.

Lord Apsley, director of Cirencester Park Farms and former county chairman of the NFU,  fears that the delay between the existing cattle market closing and the new one opening could severely damage Cirencester‘s trade.

He believes Chippenham market will be the principal beneficiary when Cirencester closes.

The market, which sells around 350 cattle a week, was originally scheduled to leave Tetbury Road in September last year but was allowed to stay when CDC delayed the leisure centre scheme as part of a cost-cutting exercise.